It’s no secret that web presence came late to luxury retailers, and there remains a proportion who are still to master their own e-commerce platform. Which makes fashion week – London, Paris, Milan or New York, a pivotal moment in the luxury calendar. It’s clear that luxury fashion has entirely embraced digital, opening up their once exclusive shows for the world to see. But there’s also a wider impact to consider – has this changed consumer search behaviour?

When we deal in luxury, everything turns on scarcity and desire. Innovative fashion week content, shared on social and pushed via stockists has the ability to make or break a shows success. Does the fashion following public actually care about your brand?

Digital trends for 2014 showed Burberry embedding garments with digital chips and Topshop working with a 3D agency to ‘democratize fashion’. September’s show will surely be more of the same. Reward Style create visually dynamic, shoppable images and sliders, and have made the first steps towards making Instagram an ecommerce friendly platform. They’re work at September’s NYF, to direct fashionistas to ‘shop the show’ bridges the gap between art and commerce.

A Mulberry Alexa is a piece of fashion history that speaks for its period. However, without its social traction, it’s just an expensive handbag.

While these advancements may not influence search algorithms, they are revitalizing the way consumers expect to be served information. Luxury brands have long struggled to make quality convey online, but now, high res images and sexy site design is slowly starting to bridge that gap.

The depth of the relationship between search and social has long been a forum for debate. Algorithm insights aside, there’s no doubt that the trend for luxury brands to embrace social will change the way consumers behave online. Shows are no longer the exclusive reserve of glossy editors – they’re a theatrical display for the masses. The indirect effect on search is clear. Expensive purchases are still more likely to be made at home, on a desk top. But consumption of the furore around a brand happens on the go – fashion blogs, trend pieces, twitter.

We’ve seen the rise of mobile – and our luxury retailers are predicting that mobile and tablet revenue will overtake desktop before 2015 is out. It doesn’t seem to me to be a coincidence that this has happened alongside fashion houses innovating with tech, as well as with fabric. Now what we need to understand, is what this change in the way we consume information, really means for search practices.

Given that 79% of time spent online is spent not searching, the cleverest brands position themselves in the forum where consumers are just pursuing their own interest. If we get it right here, we’re able to engineer the awareness that leads us down the conversion funnel.

And that is exactly what fashion week is about. Implanting product in the minds of consumers, before they knew they were looking for it.

Luxury Retailers and Search Behaviour

4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how search and technology are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in user interaction on different devices, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and behaviour across all inbound channels.